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England players react following 6-0 win over Bulgaria in a game marred by racism

It was a game ahead of which talk of racism had dominated the pre-match buildup, and despite England racking up a 6-0 win in Bulgaria, the post-match fallout is being dominated by the ugly scenes witnessed in Sofia.

The match was already being played in front of a partially closed stadium due to racism from the Bulgarian support earlier in the season, though despite the much-publicised build-up to the game, that didn’t stop a section of the narrow-minded home support abusing England’s black players.

It had been speculated that England would walk off the pitch in unison if there were to suffer racist abuse, though they stopped short of doing so, the referee stopping the game twice to issue a warning to the crowd, in line with UEFA’s protocol.

Speaking after the game Southgate confirmed that during the second stoppage, which happened four minutes before the break, England’s players and coaching staff discussed walking off.

“The players were keen to finish the half and then have the discussion at half time,” Southgate confirmed.

“I’m incredibly proud of the players and all the staff. Of course, we could be criticised for not going far enough. But I think we have made a huge statement and, frankly, we were in an impossible situation to get it right for the satisfaction of everyone.”

Here’s how England players reacted

Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings, making his England debut, was sadly picked out for abuse at times.

Before the game, Bulgaria manager Krasimir Balakov pointed the racism finger towards England, though Man City‘s Raheem Sterling was quick to re-highlight his comments following the less than savoury scenes.

The forward scored twice and assisted once in attempt to silence the ‘idiots’ as England put their disappointing 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic behind them.

Marcus Rashford has been slammed for his poor form for Manchester United in recent weeks, though opened the scoring with a rasping strike, and he added that he was proud that the Three Lions ‘Rose above it’.

England captain Harry Kane had a massive part to play in the game, scoring one and assisting three, as well as hitting the post in the second half, and he leapt to the defence of his teammates in what he labelled ‘disgraceful circumstances’.

And he wasn’t the only one…

Read – The Premier League Crisis Rankings ahead of Gameweek 9

See also – From Sven’s lowest moment to the wally with a brolly, England’s worst qualifier defeats in recent history


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